Malaysian officer back in New Zealand to face sexual assault charges in diplomatic case

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A Malaysian military officer was back in a New Zealand court to face sexual assault charges five months after he left the country under the protection of diplomatic immunity.

Muhammad Rizalman Ismail did not say anything during his brief appearance Saturday at the Wellington District Court. He was taken into police custody and scheduled to reappear before a judge Tuesday.

Rizalman was extradited to New Zealand this week under an agreement between the two countries, which don't have a formal extradition treaty.

He was arrested May 9 for allegedly following a 21-year-old woman home and assaulting her. He was charged with burglary and assault with the intent to rape, each of which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

He returned to Malaysia May 22 under diplomatic immunity protection.